An extra from A grown-up approach to treating anorexia.
Carrie Arnold endured more than a decade of anorexia before finding a way to understand it that helped her loosen its grip on her life.
“When I was first diagnosed with anorexia more than 15 years ago, no one told me anything about biology or neuroscience or genetics. The reason I continued to starve myself despite my failing organs and being forced to drop out of school, they said, was that something was wrong in my family. And as soon as that was sorted out, my eating disorder would be out of a job and I would get well. One therapist told me my parents were too controlling. Another said that there was too much pressure on me to be perfect. Yet another suggested that I just didn’t want to grow up, and my mother was afraid to let me leave the nest.
“The problem was that none of these things were true. The other problem was that, despite discussing these factors at length, I remained prof